An evaluation of the use of self-assessment for the provision of community equipment and adaptations in English local authorities

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Introduction: The Government plans to transform adult social care in England. Future services will place more emphasis on prevention and enablement, and promoting personalisation and choice. Self-assessment is one possible facilitator of this agenda. However, little is known about its utility in social care. This evaluation examined how eight local authorities employed self-assessment in the provision of community equipment and adaptations, and explored the implications for service delivery.

Method: A multiple case study was employed, using a mixed methods approach. This drew on internal documents, management interviews, and service user and administrative records.

Findings: Self-assessment was primarily used to facilitate service access. Although the authorities differed in the way in which they operationalised self-assessment, professional staff were almost always involved. The differences between people receiving self and traditional assessments were modest, but the people undertaking self-assessments in preventative services formed a particularly healthy subgroup. There was little consensus about the items suitable for provision through self-assessment.

Conclusion: The concept of self-assessment was variously interpreted and not all its possible uses were explored. Nevertheless, the evaluation suggested that self-assessment can facilitate access to community equipment and adaptations and has the potential to extend the population traditionally served by social care services, thereby addressing the preventative agenda.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011

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  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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